The Press Newspaper
Ohio Northern University senior Jimmy O'Brien (Eastwood) won the 800-meter run national title at the NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships last Saturday afternoon by finishing the race in 1:53.34.
This marks the second national indoor title that O'Brien has won in the event at Rose-Hulman (Ind.) after winning the race as a sophomore at the Sports and Recreation Center in 2007.
O'Brien stayed back during the first three laps before taking the lead for good from the onset of the final lap.
"This was not a fast race, but a very tactical race today," said ONU distance coach Jason Maus. "He did a nice job laying back and then out kicking everyone at the end."
O'Brien now has three national championships to his name, as he also won the outdoor title in the 800-meter run in 2007.
Junior Emmanuel Bofa from Whitworth (Oreg.) finished second in 1:53.80 and senior Patrick Roach from Messiah (Pa.) was third in 1:54.17.
O'Brien won his preliminary heat in the 800-meter run at the NCAA Division III Championship in a time of 1:53.96 Friday evening. The top four runners from O'Brien's heat were all within less than a second of each other and qualified for the final.
O'Brien's preliminary time was the third fastest qualifying mark of the preliminary races, as the first two finishers in the second heat ran slightly faster.
The previous week, O’Brien won the 800 meter run and the mile run, and anchored the winning Distance Medley Relay and second place 4x400 relay to lead Ohio Northern to an Ohio Athletic Conference indoor track and field championship in a meet held at Capital University. It was the Ohio Northern men's indoor track & field team fourth OAC championship in school history.
O'Brien won the mile in 4:19.14, won the 800-meter run in 1:56.20, anchored the winning distance medley relay team to first place in 10:18.20 and anchored the 4x400-meter relay team to a second-place finish in 3:24.34.
In addition to his other accolades, O'Brien is an 11-time OAC Runner of the Week and has earned the honor three times this season.
O'Brien has another award to add to his collection, as the Pemberville native has been named Great Lakes Region Indoor Track Athlete of the Year for the second straight season.
Including his two indoor and an outdoor national championship as a sophomore in 2007, O'Brien has now completed a quest for three national titles in the 800-meter run title.
Along with his three national championships, O'Brien is a seven-time All-American. He is a three-time All-American in the indoor 800-meter run, a two-time All-American in the outdoor 800-meter run, a two-time All-American in cross country and an All-American in the indoor mile run.